Dead on arrival: Shut In review by Rashid Irani | movie reviews | Hindustan Times
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Dead on arrival: Shut In review by Rashid Irani

This ‘thriller’ is riddled with contrivances, flatlines on emotion and ends in a twist you can see coming miles away.

movie reviews Updated: Nov 18, 2016 14:01 IST
Rashid Irani
The movie follows a mother who must deal with strange circumstances after the death of her husband. If you think that sounds vague, you’re not going to like the movie.
The movie follows a mother who must deal with strange circumstances after the death of her husband. If you think that sounds vague, you’re not going to like the movie.

SHUT IN

Direction: Farren Blackburn

Actors: Naomi Watts, Charlie Heaton

Rating: 1.5 / 5

This empty-headed ‘thriller’ is tedious from the word go.

Following the death of her husband in a car crash, a child psychologist (Naomi Watts, presumably cashing a hefty cheque) devotes most of her time to feeding, cleaning and clothing her stepson (Charlie Heaton).

The emotionally troubled teenager with anger management issues survived the accident but has been reduced to a vegetative state.

The wintry setting is rendered with a glossy sheen but there is no complexity in either the characters or the narrative.

To add to the widow’s woes, one of her young patients (Jacob Tremblay, squandering the goodwill he earned for his standout performance in Room) goes missing and is presumed dead.

The wintry setting is rendered with a glossy sheen but the contrivance-riddled narrative flatlines when it comes to emotion.

Amid scare-free nightmares and silly dialogue, you get a supposedly shocking twist that could be seen coming from miles away.

Director Farren Blackburn, a veteran of British television, deliberately paces the film’s first hour so that very little of consequence happens, only to unconvincingly rush things in the last 30 minutes.

There’s a campy attempt to create unnatural sexual frisson. None of the supporting actors, including the normally dependable Oliver Platt (playing a fellow therapist), brings any complexity to their roles.

Watch Shut In at your own peril.

You can watch the trailer here